Originally Posted by arche3
From my personal experience learning footwork (11 years old i think at the time) I was told to start with a cross over step with a fall to the side you want to go only if you had to go further and faster than using the first outside step can take you. So yes it is situational in my instruction as ideally you wanted to stay centered and balanced when you moved to the ball. The cross over start would really be the begining of a Sprint to the ball. Not the controlled glide of stepping out with the ourside foot. Two different situations. But to be honest I never think about any of that. I did the practices as a kid and never thought about it again.
Several points here.
The Oscar point is the situation you are describing if the Federer photo is an indication. It seems to be what the pros do when there is distance to be covered.
I assume that for the shuffle step, Oscar would have to go with outside foot out first also, as I cannot imagine it being done with a lean.
Most shots do not require the extreme sprint you described. They are either shuffle step or a not so extreme cross step. In that case, NOT putting the outside foot first in cross step means learning two footwork patterns for the common cases - outside foot out for shuffle, but not for cross step.
In that case, your strategy of almost always putting the outside foot out first for every step, cross or shuffle, except the extreme sprint case, is more uniform.
(Note to others: if you disagree, post technical arguments only and do not throw insults and derail the thread.)